Violence In School Essay Research Paper httpncesedgovpubs98violence98030001htmlViolence

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Violence In School Essay, Research Paper Violence and Discipline Problems in U.S. Public Schools: 1996-97 Executive Summary “No matter where you are, parents want their students to be safe and secure… that might even precede a quality education…” With drugs, gangs, and guns on the rise in many communities the threat of violence “weighs heavily on most principals’ minds these days…Anyone who thinks they are not vulnerable is really na?ve.” (Principal Michael Durso, Springbrook High School, as quoted in the Washingtonian Magazine, September 1997). Background Recent events have again focused the nation’s attention on violence in U.S. public schools, an issue that has generated public concern and directed research

for more than two decades.1 Despite long-standing attention to the problem, there is a growing perception that not all public schools are safe places of learning, and media reports highlight specific school-based violent acts. The seventh goal of the National Education Goals states that by the year 2000, “all schools in America will be free of drugs and violence and the unauthorized presence of firearms and alcohol, and offer a disciplined environment that is conducive to learning.” In response to this goal, the Congress passed the Safe and Drug-Free Schools and Communities Act of 1994, which provides for support of drug and violence prevention programs. As part of this legislation, the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) is required to collect data to determine

the “frequency, seriousness, and incidence of violence in elementary and secondary schools.” NCES responded to this requirement by commissioning a survey, the Principal/School Disciplinarian Survey on School Violence, 1996-97, the results of which are detailed in this report. The school violence survey was conducted with a nationally representative sample of 1,234 regular public elementary, middle, and secondary schools in the 50 states and the District of Columbia in the spring and summer of 1997. The survey requested information on four main topics: ? The incidence of crime and violence that occurred in public schools during the 1996-97 academic year; ? Principals’ (or school disciplinarians’) perceptions about the seriousness of a variety of discipline issues in their

schools; ? The types of disciplinary actions schools took against students for serious offenses; and ? The kinds of security measures and violence prevention programs that were in place in public schools. The types of criminal incidents that schools were asked to report included murder, suicide, rape or other type of sexual battery, assault or fight with a weapon, robbery, assault or fight without a weapon, theft/ larceny, and vandalism. Any effort to quantify the frequency and seriousness of these crimes and violent incidents occurring in public schools will be affected by the way in which the information is collected and reported. Three important aspects of the process that were used to gather the data reported in this publication were: ? ? The survey questions asked, including

how the questions were phrased, definitions applied, time span covered, and the context in which they were asked; ? The choice of survey respondent; and ? The survey sample size. The reader should keep these aspects of the survey in mind when comparing results of this particular sample survey with other studies on school crime and violence. The data reported from this study may vary from data reported elsewhere because of differences in definitions, coverage, respondents, and sample. For example, the data reported in this survey describe the number of incidents of crime, not the number of individuals involved in such incidents. It should be noted that an incident could involve more than one individual perpetrator or individual victim. Similarly, an individual perpetrator or